38: ode to a trimmer

I’m not good with machines–
you’d know this by looking at me–
me, who owned once only old cars:
When I draw a machine up by a rope
after throwing it over a cliff–
see me draw it up,
that engine, hand under hand
from the cliff I threw you over, yes,

I draw you up and grin at your dented
form, like a dictator whose just boiled
a freedom lover’s skull, and holds
it against the sun, and says, speak, you

speak, you, with the face of Hamlet,
speak oh court jester you,
but in this case I still expect you to work,
to do your duty, rise to the task at hand,
belch your smoke and crank away
at the weeds, though I imagine you saying
(while I pull at the string, turn the key, whatever):

but you threw me onto the stones
you tossed me off
you poured oil where the gas should go
poured gas where the oil should go–
if I were a guitar you’d bash me ‘gainst
a plane landing and expect me to note–
if I were a freedom loving skull
you’d shoot me in the streets
and expect me to show at 5AM for burgermaking,
or whatever hoisting you want me to hoist,
armless, tanktrampled, pissed on–

but you, trimmer, you would never, no,
I throw you over a cliff,
I place you, morning time, under rush hour,
today I yanked at your string
with last year’s corngas in your tank bottle,
you, oh trimmer, ten years in age,
gunked by ten years of spilled oil,
throttled by who knows what grime,
grease and gravy, sparking still
with your boughtwith spark plug,
you, trimmer, dashed, dented,
neglected like some dictator’s lover,

you roar to life
you impossible and perfect
grass cutter, made for grass
but settling for my weeds,
oh trimmer of life and death
ugly, smoking,
noting still impossible
(do you feel pain?)

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